On Tuesday, January 10 FX premiered their new series “Taboo.” In it, Tom Hardy stars as James Delaney who comes back to 1814 England once his father dies, even though James was rumored dead in Africa. It’s a gritty and political show with an intriguing supernatural twist. I have a lot of questions after the first episode, but I can make a lot of educated guesses that are probably right.
I’m mostly interested to keep watching to see what crazy stuff James Delaney will wind up doing. The show sets up that he is an unpredictable and dangerous man, with horrific rumors about his past in Africa. Tom Hardy plays him quite well, he is Tom Hardy after all, but I am waiting for more. I learned a lot about him from the first episode, but I know that there is a lot hidden, and I want more of his dangerous nature to come into play. If there is going to be an evil protagonist, might as well go big.
I’m also intrigued to see where the matter with is sister, Zilpha, will go. While I wasn’t expecting it, but with a show called "Taboo" I really shouldn’t be surprised. I’m not a huge fan of her husband, but I’m expecting him to play a big part in the plot farther down.
Overall though, everyone’s performances were spot on. The show is definitely full of talented actors. The only issue I had was the case of the mumbles that would happen now and then. I don’t know if the volume on my TV was too low, or if it was the combination of accents and talking at a low volume. Just as well, the Chairman of the East India Trading Company liked to drop the F-bomb, but I couldn’t help but feel it was a bit out of place. Only future episodes will show if "Taboo" achieves what it wants out of its actors and story.
Predictions (AKA Spoilers)
So, it is revealed that James’ father was poisoned. We learn that the East India Trading Company really wants the island that he owns, which he winds up giving to James in his will. We also learn that the EITC had been negotiating with Zilpha and her husband over the island because they assumed it would be granted to her in her father’s will and therefore it would be her husband’s. We also know that the Delaney family doesn’t have much in terms of money, which the EITC was willing to pay for the island. So, my prediction is that Zilpha’s husband had poisoned her father so that they could receive the money for the island.
As for James, it was made pretty clear he worked in the slave industry, and he seems to know some crazy dark magic that allows him to speak to his father across an ocean and learn things about his deceased mother’s past. There is an interesting sequence where he seems to talk to dead spirits, and it seems to be that on the ship that sunk at sea, James trapped slaves under deck, dooming them. So is he haunted by spirits due to his guilt, or is there some other ritualistic situation coming into play?
I’m also going to make a jump and say that the child, which is apparently James’, who is living with some neighbors, is James’ and Zilpha’s. It was made very clear that James has romantic feelings for her, and Zilpha states that James originally left because things got to be too much between them. It makes the most sense, a show wouldn’t introduce a mysterious child without a possibility for who both parents are. The only other option is the prostitute James ran into, but it is very unlikely that he would shelter a child he had with a prostitute. I imagine we will learn more about their relationship through flashbacks, the “coming this season” tease provided enough snippets to hint at it, so I am awaiting the inevitable.